Second Eclipse of 2018 Coming This Week: How to Watch the Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday
What could be more romantic than looking to the skies with protective glasses to witness a celestial event on the day after Valentine's Day? According to the experts, some lucky Earthlings will be able to chase their chocolates and wine with a partial solar eclipse on February 15.
The partial eclipse won't be as exciting as the total solar eclipse back in August or the total lunar eclipse we just at the end of January, but for those in Antarctica, Uruguay, Argentina, southern Chile, far western Paraguay, and far southern Brazil it may still be worth tilting their heads upward. Ernie Wright, a programmer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, says that the eclipse will last for two hours in Antarctica, but it won't last long in the other countries and will take a little effort to notice.
"For most people, this is a really marginal event," Wright told TIME, noting that the eclipse will cause a blanket of shadow over South America. "If you didn't know it was happening, you wouldn't even notice it." Those wearing eclipse glasses or special solar filters in Antarctica will see the sun shaped like a "very fat crescent," while those further north may see a sliver missing towards the end of the event.
The last partial eclipse was in September of 2015 and the next won't occur until July over Australia, which means that no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, those in the path of one should appreciate it and take the time to look up if they can.
So if you're in Antarctica or have the means to get there by the morning of February 15, expect the partial solar eclipse at some point between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.—if you're in any of the aforementioned spots in South America, look for the missing sliver between 6:36 p.m. and 7:36 p.m.
And just to reiterate: wear eye protection!